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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Friday, June 28, 2013

Two Walking Miracles

We came, we walked, we kicked some A$$!

Had a great walk with Brut tonight using his no pull EZ Walk Harness.  Man, I can't believe how great the harness and our training is working hand and hand.  I'm still using treats through the whole walk and learning how to utilize them even more to my advantage.  Now when Brut just gets to the end of the leash he automatically turns and I click and reward.  I've been clicking and rewarding for him walking by side and turning his head at me as well.  I can't believe how well this is working out.  If I hadn't taught Brut a mark point at the end of the leash, I would be pulling against him to turn, but this way teaching him that mark means he is turning on his own.  And when he does pull a little ahead or to side, he turns willingly when I tug on the leash.  It is better than I could have dreamed.

We have also been practicing when we pass dog houses I make him walk next to me by making a feeding tube out of my hands.  A handful of treats that he has to work for to get while still walking right along.  We have yet to encounter a loose dog in their yards, but I am feeling ready for the test.  I think we have got our routine down pretty solid and I feel confident when it happens if nothing else I will be able to handle it.

We did have our first encounter with a person walking down the road. I slowly reined in Brut who too busy at first taking treats to notice our neighbor.  Then the closer we got to each other, I grabbed a handful of treats, but didn't get enough, and as I chain fed Brut I was trying to make the treats last, but it was beginning to aggravate him.  Thriving on his body language as I grabbed more treats and just as the walker was across from us, Brut took the opportunity to move towards the man.  I felt it before it happened.  I tugged on the leash the second he flinched, then shove more food in his mouth and we passed without incident.

Finally she's catching on... 
IT. WAS. PHENOMENAL!!  I handle the whole situation with a calm, cool demeanor.  I was prepared and felt very collected.  It was an awesome feeling.  I used to make a big deal when people were around.  Brut would be at the end of the leash and when I saw people coming towards us I would reel him in next to me and hold the leash in a death grip.  One, because I am so nervous and self conscious around people that it would shoot my anxiety through the roof and two, because I was walking this powerful, aggressive dog and I didn't always know what he was going to do.  In fact most of the time I would just turn around in order to avoid the whole thing.  But this was the first time that I watched Brut encounter someone and not escalate with each step.  He actually stayed fairly calm and responded so quickly to my tug it was like a reflex that he took the treats.  It was fascinating to watch and be part of something I never thought would happen.  

Now I know running into a loose dog would create more fight response in Brut than a human and I know our day is coming, but running into the walker was great practice.  I think Brut is noticing a difference with me too.  Not only are my anxiety levels down and under better control, but we can walk further this way not fighting each other.

I have always been afraid of breaking Brut's spirit by hard discipline, which for a long time seem the only
way I could find in research of how to handle an aggressive dog.  And Brut is quite a strong willed dog.  I've been working this "out of love" angle for some time and this is the proof it is coming together.  I have given up with him so many times when it comes to leash training that if it wasn't for my body taking the brunt of his pulling, I may have never changed to this new way with the harness and clicker training.  It's an accomplishment for both of us on so many levels and I am so humbled to be a part of it.  It is truly an honor to work with this magnificent dog and watch him blossom to a higher state of mind than that which he started with 6 years ago.  I am so very, very blessed to have Brut, who has shown me over and over again that all things are possible with a little love and time.        

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

The vacation from hell

Come on Dad, let's move!

We must have signed up for the EXTRAVAGANT package deal for our two week vacation.  I'm telling you folks it was a vacation that couldn't be beat-our stay at home vacation consisted of ten, count them TEN days of working on our truck!  Doesn't it sound like a dream getaway?! I'll spare you the gory details, but it went something like this:  transmission, battery, alternator, wiring.  We were actually charging the battery with a charger in between driving it, trying to keep it alive.  We had our own custom made electric truck!!  LOL!

We finally got everything figured out this past weekend.  Thank goodness!  We actually got stuck about half way coming back from an appointment 85 miles from home.  We stopped to "charge up" and tried heading out again, not getting too far only to have a friend tow us home, in the dark at what felt like warped roller coaster ride.  What was suppose to be a 5 hour trip at the most, getting home by the dogs dinnertime, turned into us pulling in at 11pm.  The dogs survived but someone had an upset system the next day due to the stress of being off schedule.  Poor Brut.  :(

The dogs lost out on some quality time as well.  Due to the stress of the vehicle being under maintenance and uncertainty, they went through the whole thing with us.  I was to exhausted to blog or even get on the computer most of the time.  It seem to take all of our strength just to get through the day.  Nothing like depending on one vehicle.

So while there were some scary times (once hubby almost didn't make it home in a downpour and not being able to use the wipers or lights because it would drain juice) and some very frustrating and disappointing times trying to figure out the actual problem we all made it through.  That is all except for a squirrel, a chipmunk and a mouse who made it to critter heaven thanks to our mighty hunters.

 Despite all the "fun" we had I don't think I'll be going back to that travel agent again.  :)  I think they owe us.  LOL!    

Monday, June 17, 2013

We've gone Catty!!

We thought we'd take a rest from blogging today and feature the cat's blog.  Now normally we wouldn't do this but once you read it you'll understand why.

Here's a little recap to catch you up:

Boxer and Princess Leia have appointed Mom to be their apprentice in an effort for her to tap into her inner catness and to convince her that cats are the true "top dogs" of the house.  Every plan so far that Boxer has come up with has been foiled.  But you have to give the credit to Boxer for his determination and sheer will power.  I don't think Mom will ever become the avid cat lover as she is with us, but that isn't stopping Boxer.

So stop over to 36 Claws of Attitude and have a good chuckle as Boxer tries once again to prove his higher rank among us in Lesson 2-Out in the Wild.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Daddy Dog Brut Experience

This is for all of you out there that didn't have the dad you needed or the love you deserved from him

Let Daddy Dog Brut show you what it like to have a real dad for a day.
(or Visit on YouTube)

One thing that Brut is, is a good father to his kids.  Watching him play and rumble with his 10 puppies was a magical healing for me personally.  

And watching him be a father now to his four continues the healing experience.  
So go on, take in a piece of Brut for yourself and share in the Daddy Dog Experience.  
It will make a believer out of you.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Eye for an Eye

We talked a few weeks back about a bill here in our state that wants to make a registry for animal abusers.

How's this for a proposition:  make the crime fit the punishment?






ADD HERE__________________________________________

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Caption Daddy's Little Helper

Give us your best caption for
Picture A.


Picture B.

Have a Happy Wednesday!!

I received some concerns that blogger were unable to post comments on our blog with our new comment form.  

You can sign in with your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google account OR you can sign in with your name and email as a guest, (just check the guest box), then hit the arrow to post.  

Hope that clears up any issues any of you may have been having.  If you are still having trouble please email me and let me know the kind of trouble you are having.  


Thanks for your help. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

How Do You Keep Your Cool?

 You! loss your cool...Never!!
So I go on Blogger to save my template and it tells me there is a virus scan error.  I try a couple more times and get the same results.  So I go through the procedures of what this error means and how to correct it. Only to run into more complications that I don't understand.  Then Windows starts acting up and suddenly nothing is responding except for my frustration.  And I never solved my original problem.  My frustration mounts and I am at my breaking point because I can't seem to fix this. So I start thinking, well I'll just reinstall Windows.  Except I can't remember how to do it.  After five attempts, I finally put everything down and walked away.  This was not the time to start on something as important as the operating system, when I felt like my head was going to explode.

 Who said that?

And that's just how my day started.  Little things through out my day kept my frustration fueled like a torch.   

While fixing dinner, I decided to play "find it" with Chance and Blaze.  This set off a dominant jealous tirade from Zappa and Fiona who then attacked the door the separates them from Chance and Blaze, with a round of threatening barks that didn't stop.  Usually I intervene on the side I'm at, but I still haven't completely been able to rid these four from fighting at the door and this time nothing was working. No matter what Zappa keeps egging it on, my frustration is at  it's peak and I open the door and yell at him to "KNOCK IT OFF!!"

I don't remember much of what happened after that.  I had scared the Front Dogs and Zappa still wasn't giving up very easy.  This went on and off even after hubby got home and throughout the evening.  Some days are just worse than others.

So while I should have used this moment as a wonderful teaching moment, I lost my cool instead.  Usually my mantra for these situations is "it isn't the dog's fault for      (bad thing that is happening to me)    " and I can stay relatively cool and not take it out on the dogs.  But today I just lost it.

Another trick I use is looking the dog in the eye and really focusing on them.  I know they aren't trying to get on my last nerve...so if I make some eye contact then I usually calm because they are usually just excited about something like the squirrel that just ran across the yard.  Not having anything to do with interrupting my concentration.

 Ahhh, the joys of being a mother!!

So how are the ways you keep your cool and calm?  What tricks have you learned to keep your center when your world is all crazy?


Friday, June 7, 2013

Pajama Party!


I had a couple of really bad days and what could be a better remedy that a pajama party with Chance and Blaze!!

 Destructo is the best game ever Mom!

It was my turn to sleep with the Front Dogs, so we scooped out the ice cream and played with toys and talked until they got sleepy.

 Just one more scoop before bed...please mom!!

And even though I was the only one in pajamas, it was a great pajama party since the last one with them.

What are some of the silly things you do with your dogs when you've had a bad day?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Popping up to say Hello

It has been a pretty intense time period since we last blog almost a week ago.  I will share about what happened at a later time.  For now I'm still digesting.  

We have a new comment form that I'm not sure if it will be working when you read this.  It from Disqus and it may take 24 hours to be fully operational, but please feel free to try.  It is more user friendly that the old Blogger one and we hope that it will help those who haven't been able to comment in the past be able to now.

Brut and I had a great practice walk the other day and I was just soaring all the way through.  It was an awesome experience.  He started right off turning before the end of the leash for a treat and not pulling.  Then I started to give him a treat every other time he turned, he continued to turn and still didn't pull.  We even walked by his nemesis' house and he stayed focused on me.  A deer ran from the side of the road and all he could think about was cheese.  bol!  Now I'm not one to use lots of treats for leash training because I don't want him to rely on the treats alone, but to really change Brut's behavior, I'm demanding his attention and it is working.  And for a reward, I let him take the reins on the way home.  Brut had me running down the paths and winding through the trails laughing and laughing.  It was a great walk!

Alex and his friends
Six years ago today I had to put my boy, Alex down because his bad hips gave out on him.  His back legs were unable to hold him up any more.  He was about 15 years old and he had a great life.  I still miss him. I still cry over him.  And I still picture him lying on the floor, hanging out with the dogs.  He was such a great dog.  His memorial garden is flourishing and the flowering bush is filled with buds ready to burst.

In the meantime, we are getting the veggie garden ready to plant.  Hopefully by mid-week.  Cross your paws for no more frost.  Last night was hopefully the last night.  My plants are ready to go in the ground, ready to burst from their pots. From seed I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, lima beans, hot and green peppers, broccoli, and I added pumpkin for the first time.  Since I usually cook, cut and freeze a couple of pumpkins for the dogs and cats, I figured I'd try growing my own and save a few buck.  Plus hubby like pumpkin pie and fresh is always so much better.  After I get my seedlings in the ground I will plant radishes, carrots, onions and green beans.  And then pray that it finally gets and stays warm for the rest of the summer!

Well, that's the latest update.  We hope all our blogging buddies are doing well and have a great day!